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Text and Data Mining in the Humanities


Admission requirements

This course is accessible to Book and Digital Media Studies students and BDMS exchange students. Auditors can occasionally be allowed after consulting the course coordinator.


The development of the digital textual medium has enabled agencies, companies and institutions to create, gather and store unprecedented amounts of textual data and metadata. Just as microscopes and telescopes have widened human perception, computer-aided forms of reading allow us to see things in these massive amounts of textual data that we could not see before because they were not ‘in the human bandwidth’. Through innovations such as these, the availability of textual data fundamentally reshapes methodologies and dissemination practices in humanities research. Building on the first-semester introduction to the basics of digital text technologies, this course will provide a firm grounding in Text and Data Mining technologies. The course will present advanced data processing techniques using various digital tools.

Course objectives


  • receive hands-on experience in Text and Data Mining techniques

  • develop practical knowledge of the Python programming language

  • become acquainted with recent scholarly debates in the digital humanties

  • carry out out an individual research project, potentially as a preparation for an MA thesis within this field


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Weekly three-hour seminars

Assessment method


The final grade will be determined by:

  • An essay, which consists of (1) a description of the results of an individual research project and (2) a critical reflection on the techniques which are discussed during the course.

  • Participation in discussion during the seminars. Students will be invited to moderate discussions about the literature listed in the course syllabus.


The essay will determine 90% of the grade. The remaining 10% will be based on participation in group discussions.


In case of an insufficient result, the resit consists of the same parts as the first opportunity; students therefore only take the resits for those parts that were insufficient.

Inspection and feedback

How and when a paper review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the paper results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the paper results, an paper review will have to be organised.

Reading list

All reading materials will be announced via the course syllabus.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


Participation in all sessions of this course is compulsory. Upon prior consultation, the lecturer can permit absence at one session for compelling reasons. Students who are absent twice may be excluded from further participation.